Find the Cheapest Homeowners Insurance Quotes in Your Area
Vulnerable to earthquakes, floods, wildfires and mudslides, California homeowners face some of the most extreme natural catastrophes in the country. Although standard homeowners insurance policies won't cover all these dangers, homeowners insurance provides necessary coverage against the financial loss posed by a sudden disaster.
We evaluated insurance quotes for a sample 2,000 square foot home in 54 cities in the state of California in order to determine which cities had the highest and lowest annual home insurance costs. Based on this sample property, California homeowners pay on average $992 per year for home insurance, with prices varying across different cities. Below we profile rates in several cities in the state of California. Read on to see our findings, or use our quote tool above to find the best homeowners insurance quotes in your area.
- Cheapest Home Insurance Companies
- Homeowners Insurance Rates in California's Largest Cities
- Top 5 Best Cities for Home Insurance In California
- Top 5 Most Expensive Cities for Home Insurance in California
- Unique State Risks: Fire, Earthquake and Flood Insurance in California
- Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in California
Cheapest Home Insurance Companies in California
We gathered quotes for our sample home across 54 cities from State Farm, Farmers and Liberty Mutual. Quotes from each company were averaged across the 54 cities to find which insurance companies had the least expensive home insurance rates in California. The graph below shows the average annual costs to insure our sample home by company:
Find the Cheapest Homeowners Insurance Quotes in Your Area
Homeowners Insurance Rates in California's Largest Cities
We evaluated homeowners insurance rates across the largest cities in California. Our study implemented control variables to gather quotes that can be compared to one another. On average, the homeowners in the ten largest cities pay 1% less than the rest of the state on homeowners insurance. The cost for home insurance in the ten largest cities was an average of $978 per year.
Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles is the most populous city in the state of California and the second largest in the United States. “The City of Angels” is world-renowned for its entertainment industry and many landmarks. Los Angeles ranks in the bottom quartile of the safest cities in California, which contributes to the high home insurance rates in the city. The average cost of home insurance in Los Angeles was $1,360 per year, which is 37% more expensive than the state mean.
Liberty Mutual offered the most expensive home insurance quote in the Los Angeles area at $2,184 annually. Farmers, the most affordable insurer in the city, quoted our sample home an annual cost of $923, or $1,261 lower than Liberty Mutual. Los Angeles ranked as the fourth most expensive city for homeowners insurance of the 54 cities in the research study.
San Diego, CA
San Diego is the second largest city in the state of California. San Diego is located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean and near the U.S.-Mexico border. The city of San Diego has very varied land use within the city with 28% of land being allocated for parks and open spaces. Residents of San Diego pay $905 for homeowners insurance annually, on average. Home insurance rates in San Diego are 9% lower than the average in California.
Home insurance rates in San Diego vary by as much as $843. The best homeowners insurance rates in the area are offered by State Farm at $573. The second least expensive rates are offered by Farmers at $725, or $152 more than State Farm’s quote.
San Jose, CA
San Jose is the third largest city in California and the tenth largest in the United States. The city has experienced explosive growth with a population increase of approximately 21% since the 1990 U.S. Census. The residents of San Jose are highly educated with 40% of people holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. Based on our research, the average homeowners insurance quote in the city was $929. Residents of San Jose pay 6% less for their homeowners insurance than the state mean.
State Farm and Farmers quoted the best home insurance rates of $585 and $773 for our sample home. Liberty Mutual’s quote of $1,428 was over twice the amount quoted by State Farm and $655 more than the quote offered by Farmers. Liberty Mutual’s quote was the only rate higher than the state average.
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, home of the Golden Gate Bridge, is the fourth largest city in the state of California. The California gold rush in 1849 caused a considerable rise in the population of San Francisco. The top employer in the area is the city government itself followed by the University of California, San Francisco. The average annual homeowners insurance quote in San Francisco was $969 per year, which is 2% less than the state mean.
If you’re looking for affordable home insurance rates in San Francisco, we suggest starting with State Farm who quoted our sample home $587 annually. Liberty Mutual offered the least affordable rate at $1,512 per year, which is $925 more per year than State Farm. San Francisco ranks near the middle for affordable home insurance rates in California, landing at 29th most affordable of the 54 cities in our study.
Fresno was originally founded by the Central Pacific Railroad Company in the late 19th century. Fresno is the fifth largest city in the state of California and is ranked first in the nation for agricultural production. The area is home to several accredited universities including a branch campus of the California State University. The mean home insurance rate in Fresno was $885, which is $108 less than the state average.
Liberty Mutual quoted the most expensive rate in Fresno at $1,296 annually. That is $647 more expensive than the quote of $649 provided by State Farm. Homeowners in the city of Fresno save 11% on their home insurance when compared to the state mean.
Sacramento, the capital of California, is the sixth most populous city within the state. Sacramento is located at the merging point of the American and Sacramento Rivers, which serves as the reason the city is nicknamed “River City”. Sacramento is home to the first paid fire department west of the Mississippi. The average home insurance quote for our sample home in Sacramento was $711, which is 28% more affordable than the state mean. Sacramento ranked as the best city in the state of California for home insurance.
State Farm and Farmers quoted our sample home an annual home insurance cost of $558 and $675, respectively. Liberty Mutual offered a quote of $900, which is $342 and $225 more than the quotes offered by State Farm and Farmers. Despite this, all quotes offered in Sacramento were lower than the state average.
Long Beach, CA
Long Beach is the seventh largest city in the state and is located approximately 26 miles west of Anaheim. Originally named “Wilmore City”, Long Beach is no misnomer as the city features 5.5 miles of coastline. Our research found that the average home insurance premium in Long Beach was $904, which is $88 less than the average in the state of California.
State Farm offered the best home insurance quote of $581, which is $158 cheaper than the rate of $739 offered by Farmers. Liberty Mutual quoted the least affordable rate at $1,392. Liberty Mutual’s rate was the only quote gathered in Long Beach that exceeded the state average.
Oakland is the eighth largest city in California and home to the fifth largest port in the United States. Several professional sports teams call Oakland home, including the Golden State Warriors and the Oakland Raiders. We found the mean annual home insurance cost in Oakland to be $1,111. On average, residents of Oakland pay 12% more for their home insurance than the rest of the state.
State Farm and Farmers quoted rates within $10 of each other for our sample home. The two insurance companies quoted annual costs of $719 and $729, respectively. Liberty Mutual offered a rate of $1,884, which costs more than twice what State Farm and Farmers offered.
Bakersfield is the ninth most populous city in the state of California. The city has experienced population growth of 55% from 2000 to 2017. The Amtrak station located in Bakersfield is the fifth busiest in the United States. Bakersfield has average homeowners insurance rates that are 5% lower than the state mean. Residents pay an average of $945 a year for homeowners insurance.
Farmers offered the lowest quote in the city at a cost of $663. The second most affordable homeowners insurance quote gathered was offered by State Farm at a premium $695. Liberty Mutual offered the most expensive quote at $1,476 per year, which is $813 more than Farmers.
Anaheim, home of Disneyland Park, is the tenth largest city in the state of California. In its early days, the city of Anaheim was well known for its wineries. The average homeowners insurance rate in Anaheim was $1,067. This rate is $75 higher than the state average, which represents an 8% premium.
State Farm quoted the cheapest home insurance quote in the area at $809. Liberty Mutual offered the most expensive home insurance quote at $1,428, which is $619 more expensive than State Farm’s quote. Anaheim is the third most expensive city for home insurance of the ten largest cities in California.
Least Expensive Homeowners Insurance in California: by City
The graph below shows the five most affordable cities of all 54 cities which were part of this study. The cities are listed in order of mean price starting with the lowest average home insurance quote and ascending. The figures listed in the graph represent the average home insurance rate in each city. Sacramento is the cheapest city in California for homeowners insurance. Residents pay $711 annually on average, which is $281 lower than the state average.
As previously mentioned, Sacramento is the most affordable city in the state of California for homeowners insurance. On average, residents pay $22 less for their homeowners insurance policy than the next most affordable city in California, Lompoc. State Farm offered the least expensive quote at $558.
Lompoc offers the second most affordable rates for home insurance of the 54 cities sample in California. The mean home insurance quote in the city was $733, which is 26% cheaper than the state average. The most affordable quote in Lompoc was offered by State Farm at $555 annually.
Redding is located in northern California and approximately 125 miles south of the Oregon border. Redding ranks as the third least expensive city in California for homeowners insurance. The average home insurance quote gathered for the city of Redding was $766, which is $227 less than the state mean. On a percentage basis, this represents a 23% discount.
Roseville offers the fourth most affordable home insurance rates in the state of California. Residents pay on average $785 per year, which is $207 less than the state average. The lowest rate in the city was offered by State Farm at $535.
Santa Clara, CA
Santa Clara is ranked the fifth least expensive city in California for home insurance. On average, residents pay $787 for home insurance, which represents a 21% lower rate when compared to the state mean. On an annual basis, residents save $205 on homeowners insurance versus the state average.
Most Expensive Homeowners Insurance in California: by City
The graph below shows the five least affordable places of all 54 cities which were part of this study. The cities are listed in order of price starting with the highest average rate and descending. The figures listed represent the average home insurance rate in each city. The most expensive city for homeowners insurance was San Mateo where our research found an average annual rate of $1,424, which is $431 higher than the state average.
Unique State Risks: Fire, Earthquake and Flood Insurance in California
From the natural disasters filling the headlines—the 2018 California wildfires—to predictions of impending disasters to come—the so-called "big one", the state's overdue major earthquake—California homeowners are rightly concerned about how far their insurance coverage goes. Below, we've explained the dangers facing homeowners in the Golden State and what they can do to make sure they're properly covered.
Fire Insurance in California
Last year was one of the more destructive years on record for wildfires in California. Measured by structures destroyed, the November 2018 Camp Fire in Butte County was by far the most devastating in California history. But this extreme event is just one example of the increasing risk to California homeowners of wildfires, as seven of the 10 most destructive fires in history have come in the last four years. In fact, the November 2018 wildfires alone resulted in almost 33,000 claims and $10 billion insured losses for residential property insurance.
Top 10 Most Destructive California Wildfires
|Fire name||Date||Structures destroyed|
|Camp Fire||Nov 2018||18,804|
Fortunately for California homeowners, they won't need a standalone fire insurance policy. Fire damage will almost always be covered under standard homeowners insurance policies. So shopping for a fire insurance company or quote in California is unnecessary.
But homeowners should be wary of the potential for insurers to withdraw policies at the end of their terms, especially in regions facing increasingly high incidence of wildfires. A home insurance company has no obligation to renew a customer's policy, and if it believes the risk of fire damage is too high, it may choose to end a customer's coverage. Policyholders facing non-renewal of homeowners insurance coverage should talk to an independent insurance agent about other insurance companies who may be willing to provide coverage in areas considered high-risk.
If all else fails, homeowners can look to the California FAIR Plan Association for fire insurance coverage. A publicly supported program, FAIR Plan provides coverage for high-risk homeowners, such as those at risk of wildfire damage, who cannot get policies on the private market.
It's also important for homeowners to ensure that their home insurance policy will cover them in the event of a total loss, meaning if a fire completely burned down their house. In the November 2018 wildfires, almost 40% of claims came from policyholders who had experienced a total loss. If homeowners pick dwelling coverage limits at or above the replacement cost of their home, meaning the cost to completely rebuild it, they will ensure they're fully covered for a worst-case scenario.
Earthquake Insurance in California
In contrast to fire damage, earthquake damage generally won't be covered by homeowners insurance in California. Many California residents are financially exposed to this peril given that only 13% of homeowners in the state have earthquake insurance. And the risk is greater for those who live closer to a fault line, where earthquake damage can be more extreme.
Earthquake insurance can be bought through the California Earthquake Authority, which sells publicly supported earthquake policies, or through private earthquake insurance companies.
Flood and Mudslide Insurance in California
Homeowners insurance policies in California, like anywhere else, will not cover flood damage. A coastal state, California is vulnerable to floods, especially residents in its southern counties such as San Bernardino and San Diego. Homeowners looking for flood insurance in California can obtain it from the National Flood Insurance Program, which is sponsored by the federal government, or a private flood insurance company, which has the potential to offer cheaper rates and higher coverage limits.
Mudslides, a potentially devastating peril in California, are an interesting example of what can or can't be covered by homeowners insurance. Mudslide damage is typically not covered by homeowners insurance, but in the event that a mudslide was caused by something else, homeowners may in fact be covered.
Wildfires in the hillsides of Montecito precipitated an extreme mudslide in January 2018. The fires had destroyed vegetation in the area, making it more susceptible to debris flows. Since fires are covered by homeowners insurance, and the mudslide was attributable to fires, insurance companies largely agreed to cover the damage. However, this precedent was made law with a bill enacted by the California legislature late in 2018, which mandated that insurers would be liable to its policyholders for damages to a home if the initial cause of an event—in this case a fire—is covered in their policies. The Montecito incident illustrates why California homeowners should be aware of what their insurance policies cover and when their policyholders will be on the hook.
Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in California
In searching for the best insurance company in California, you should balance your preferences for coverage features, price, stability and customer service. Here, we've focused on the latter and compiled a list of the largest homeowners insurance companies in the Golden State and rated their customer service quality through customer complaints. By that standard, the top-rated homeowners insurance companies in California are Chubb, AIG and USAA. The worst insurance companies in California by these ratings are American Family, Nationwide Mutual and AAA. However, policyholders in California are generally satisfied with the largest insurers in the state. Only American Family, which offers its policies through Homesite Insurance, received a customer complaint ratio appreciably above the national median of 1.0.
We measured customer satisfaction by a complaint ratio collected from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Customer complaints are weighted by market share, so the number of complaints is adjusted relative to the size of a company, with a median score of 1.0. A lower complaint index indicates that customers are more likely to be happy with their service.
|Rank||Company||Market share||Complaint index|
|14||American Family (Homesite)||1.32%||1.66|
California Homeowners Insurance Companies Reviews
We reviewed the five largest homeowners insurance companies in California, based on market share: State Farm, Farmers, AAA, Liberty Mutual and Allstate. In reviewing the insurers, we focused on policy coverage and features, customer experience and financial stability.
The nation's largest home insurer is also the largest carrier in California. State Farm is known for having a personal touch, given its extensive network of insurance agents. Its customer complaint ratio reflects its personalized service, with a lower rate of complaints for home insurers than the national median.
As you can see above, State Farm also has competitive rates, consistently ranking as one of the cheaper major insurers in the state, though it is not as cheap as AAA or Allstate. Its rates may be even more competitive if you're a car owner. With a potential discount of 22% for bundling your auto and homeowners insurance, State Farm offers one of the most competitive multi-policy options in the state.
From a financial stability perspective, you'll be at ease with State Farm. The company received A.M. Best's highest possible rating of "A++" for its financial condition and operational performance.
Farmers Insurance Group ranks as the second largest home insurance company in California, but, along with Liberty Mutual, it ranked as one of the more expensive insurers among the major providers. As with Liberty Mutual, the higher price gets you better customer service, as these two insurers had the best customer complaint ratios of the five largest home insurance companies in the state.
You may be able to save some money on your Farmers quote with its generous discounts. Like State Farm, Farmers has a competitive discount for bundling your auto and homeowners insurance, offering 25% off your premium. Moreover, Farmers Insurance values customers who take safety measures: Homeowners with central fire or burglar alarms can get discounts of 20%.
Farmers received a financial strength rating of "A-" from A.M. Best. This isn't as strong as some other major insurers, but it still rates as being a company with a very low risk of reneging on its financial obligations.
In California, AAA is referred to as the CSAA Insurance Exchange or the Auto Club Exchange Group, with the former generally serving Northern California and the latter the South. The main advantage of shopping with AAA is its cost. Along with Allstate, AAA provided some of the cheapest quotes among California's major providers. Given its already low prices, the carrier's discount options are more limited than other insurers, with home safety and auto bundling discounts topping out at 10% and 15% respectively.
If you go with AAA, you'll garner savings at the expense of customer service quality. AAA had the worst customer complaint ratio of these five major home insurance providers. Its customer relations are not poor by any means, however, as the complaint ratio is in line with the national median for insurers.
With CSAA and the Auto Club Exchange Group receiving financial strength ratings of "A" and "A+" from A.M. Best, respectively, you can be confident in the insurer's financial stability if you buy one of its policies.
Liberty Mutual ranks as the fourth biggest insurance company in California, and, along with Farmers, prices as one of the most expensive home insurers in the state. Like Farmers, this higher price will likely buy you a better customer service experience, with the company's customer complaint ratios far below the national median. Unlike Farmers, you'll have fewer options to discount your premium with Liberty and the discounts that are available are minimal in size. Credits for home safety devices and auto insurance bundles only range from 5% to 10%.
Liberty Mutual receives a financial strength rating of "A" from A.M. Best so, as with all of these major insurers, you'll have confidence in the financial stability of the company backing your home insurance policy.
Finally, Allstate ranks as the fifth largest insurance company in California, but it provides the best balance of customer service and price. Along with AAA, Allstate was one of the consistently cheapest homeowners insurance companies in California. Its discount options are competitive, too: You'll get 10% off your premium for home safety features and 15% off for bundling your auto on home insurance. Additionally, Allstate also rates above average for customer service, with a customer complaint rate below the national median. Allstate is one of the most financially stable insurers of our five examples, receiving an "A+" from A.M. Best.
One downside to Allstate is the lack of convenience in getting a quote. We found that the insurer's online quote tool won't provide prices for a variety of ZIP codes in California, meaning you may have to talk with an insurance agent to get an initial estimate.
We studied 54 cities, spread out geographically all throughout the state of California. The sample home we looked at was built in the year 2000 and had 2,000 square feet. The property cost $200,000 and had an attached garage. Quotes for this home were obtained from State Farm, Farmers and Liberty Mutual insurance companies. The rates were then averaged to arrive at an average value for each city. To see an alphabetical list of all the cities included in the comparison analysis, please see below. We've displayed all cities from Alameda to Simi Valley with the average annual cost of insurance for the benchmark property and how much each city costs relative to the statewide average.
|Rank||City||Average Insurance Rate||Cost Compared to Average|
|20||San Luis Obispo||885||-11%|